The roll out of 53 million electric and gas smart meters is a step closer after four companies signed key contracts to run the scheme for the Government.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said agreement of the deals was a "significant milestone" in the scheme, which is aimed at making energy consumption more transparent to households by showing real time usage.
Combined, the deals are worth more than £2 billion over the coming years, with the meters due to be installed by 2020.
In a statement to MPs, Mr Davey said: "Smart meters offer a range of intelligent functions. They will provide consumers near real-time information on their energy use in pounds and pence, as well as accurate bills to help them better manage their energy use.
"The roll-out will support investment and growth, offering significant net benefits to the GB economy."
The contracts are all part of operating what the Department for Energy and Climate Change have called the Data and Communications Company (DCC), which is providing shared infrastructure for the smart meters.
Capita PLC has been awarded a 12-year licence to manage the DCC on behalf of users in a deal worth £175 million. The DCC Licensee will be regulated by Ofgem.
CGI IT UK Limited has agreed an eight-year contract with Capita PLC to be the data service provider for smart meters. The £75 million contract covers the system which controls the movement of messages to and from smart meters.
In the north of England and Scotland, Arqiva Limited has agreed a contract with Capita to be the communications service provider - covering wide area communications to and from smart meters. The 15-year deal is worth £625 million.
In the rest of the UK, Telefonica UK Limited has agreed a £1.5 billion deal to be communications service provider.